London, 26 October 2021 – Research carried out by technology and engineering partner Expleo shows that:

  • 84% of UK automotive leaders believe hydrogen vehicles can help reduce industry’s carbon emissions
  • More than a third cite access to service stations and green hydrogen as barriers to uptake (36%, 35%)
  • Insight comes as pressure builds on UK government and industry to meet net zero targets by 2050

Research by technology partner Expleo, reveals 71% of UK automotive leaders believe hydrogen fuelled vehicles are better for the environment than EV, but uncertainty around infrastructure and green hydrogen is holding investment back.

The research informs a new report by Expleo on the future of hydrogen in automotive, supported by the views of more than 225 leaders across the UK, France and Germany.

“The Road to Hydrogen Cars – Making the Automotive Sector Cleaner” suggests many leaders recognise the potential for a green hydrogen solution to contribute toward sustainability goals, but that investment remains weighted towards electric vehicles (36% v’s 28%).

UK leaders cited lower emissions (51%), better range (47%), and less reliance on rare minerals (48%) as the top benefits of hydrogen vehicles, but many appear luke-warm about investing heavily while concerns remain around infrastructure and the production of green hydrogen.

UK respondents called out safety of engineering (43%), complexity of scaling up production (39%) access to service stations (36%) and adequate supplies of sustainably sourced hydrogen (35%) as the main barriers to adoption. However, more than 71% believe their company has the know-how to engineer affordable hydrogen solutions. 

The cost of production was seen as less of an issue in the UK as in France (41%) and Germany (47%), with only 32% of UK respondents pointing to this as a primary challenge.

Automotive leaders remain optimistic about the immediate future for hydrogen with almost two-thirds of respondents in the UK believing that the first consumer options will be on the roads within two years (63% ). To achieve this, a strong commitment from government will need to be partnered with investment strategy, as seen in France where the report reveals that more automotive companies are investing in hydrogen (36%) than in Germany (27%) and the UK (28%).

Steve McEvoy, Vice President – Automotive, Expleo, said: “The UK industry is aware of the potential that hydrogen has, but a significant number are cautious about committing to the technology.

“The reality is, without significant investment in the infrastructure needed to store, transport and retail hydrogen alongside a solution to produce green hydrogen, manufacturers will continue to have reservations.

“Despite these challenges, our research shows there is an appetite among parts of the industry for hydrogen. Sustainable fuels are integral to the future of mobility, and if any government is to inspire innovation in the sector, they need to make it clear to leaders that investment in hydrogen technology won’t be in vain.”

Learn more. Expleo’s report “The Road to Hydrogen Cars – Making the Automotive Sector Cleaner” provides fresh insight into the state of the market, the potholes for hydrogen vehicles and how the industry needs to shift gear if it’s to build a mass market proposition within two years. The report can be downloaded from Expleo’s website here.


Media contact
Gwen Allen
Senior UK Communications Manager
+44 (0)7779 318309